Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

Choice Quotes

Sixty five per cent of the American public aren’t antiwar. They’re just anti-losing. You see, if we were winning the war in Iraq, they’d all be for it. If we had brought democracy, they’d be cheering the President. It wouldn’t matter that we violated international law. It wouldn’t even matter that we lied about weapons of mass destruction. We’d be winning. God bless America. Ain’t we good? USA, USA! But we’re losing, so they’re against Iraq.

But what happens when you get your butt kicked in one game? You’re looking for the next game, where you can win. And right now, we’re looking for Iran for a victory. We’re going to go to war with Iran.

Scott Ritter, Ritter and Hersch talk (video last post, broadcast on C-Span 2), 16 Oct 2006, transcript at Democracy Now

Only a large-scale popular movement toward decentralization and self-help can arrest the present tendency toward statism … A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and schoolteachers.

— Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), Forward to ‘Brave New World’, 1932, featured by Tom Feeley in his excellent daily ICH newsletters

3 comments on “Choice Quotes

  1. JollyRoger
    2 March, 2007

    This has gone on so long now, and so many have been killed, that I’m skeptical that we’d be for it even if we were “winning.”

    Once the lies were widely exposed, erosion of support was a certainty.

  2. peoplesgeography
    2 March, 2007

    Jolly Roger, I’m glad to read this. I thought this comment was a bit harsh myself. I was struck by its apparent willingness to believe the worst about the collective American populace and also a lack of faith in the popular wisdom and heart of ordinary people who I am convinced also are in the first instance instinctively anti-war.

  3. Curtis
    6 March, 2007

    Sadly, I suspect Mr. Ritter is at least partially correct in his analysis of public opinion on the war. Just as most anywhere else, in America there is widespread belief in peaceful cooperation, and an innate acknowledgment that this ship is really big enough for all of us.

    But concerning the occupation of Iraq, I get the impression that a large number of Americans are not so painfully concerned with the fallacious basis for the war as they are with the fact that the U.S. isn’t—pardon the expression—“kicking ass.” This isn’t because Americans are simple-minded beastly warmongers, and I thank you sincerely for this observation. It’s because the vast majority of Americans still get what information they have of the conflicts in the Middle East from the U.S. news media, and the news media here does not concern itself with discussion of the broader topics underpinning the Iraq War. It concerns itself with critical analysis on the play-by-play—not “Is what we’re doing right?” but “Are we doing it right?”

    I agree with JR, the erosion of support was to an extent inevitable as the true pretexts for war were laid bare. But I also think it is important to realize that we are dealing with realpolitik—the erosion of ideological support may be underway, but the real support lies in tax dollars that are ever forthcoming.

    Great quotes you’ve posted here—they complement one another totally.

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Timely Reminders

"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

"The only war that matters is the war against the imagination. All others are subsumed by it."
-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.

"It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there"
-- William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"